Sure, the rocks four feet below my keel have eaten more props than I have sushi, but I’m hauling ass over Thomas Point Shoals in a 44′ convertible anyway. You think I’ll mangle some Nibral? Not a chance. Cavileer’s new 44 Convertible redefines the term shallow draft as applied to an inboard-powered convertible sportfish.
Let’s hash out some numbers: Cabo’s 43 needs 4’4″ to float; Ocean Yachts’ 46 SS and Riviera’s 42 each take 4’2″; and Post’s 47 draws 4’4″. Even though the Cavileer 44 is longer and heavier than all of these boats, it draws just 3’3″.
How can the 44 Convertible run so much shallower than the competition? The tunnels are the key-Donald Blount and Associates designed the tunnels specifically for the props, reducing tip clearance to 2″ or less. With most boats this size, about 4″ of clearance is necessary; without it, inconsistent water velocity over the top of the prop causes vibration. And the more tip clearance you need, the bigger the tunnels have to be. The bigger the tunnels are, the less buoyancy your boat has. The less buoyancy, the deeper the boat sinks into the water, increasing draft. So why can’t everyone else build with a 2″ tip clearance? Blount and Associates has its own analytical design procedure that allows for selection and design around a prop with the least vertical prop-induced vibration. Net result: The 2″ tip clearance in relatively small tunnels that would cause the boat to shake apart in most cases is free of excessive vibration, so you can run over shoals and shallows that would leave other 44′ convertibles high and dry.
Naturally, the rest of the boat has to live up to your expectations for you to care about that shallow draft in the first place. Cruisers who like the convertible design will find the 44 Convertible full of such top-notch features as book-matched teak cabinetry, a double-sink vanity in the master head, and a Bose entertainment center. Anglers will dwell on the 6’6″-long split-hatch fishbox, flying bridge wing rodholders, and bait freezer with a 10-case ballyhoo capacity-all of which allow the 44 Convertible to shine just as brightly in the deep as it does when it’s running over the shallows. Test Results…
The Highs: The lowest-draft 44′ convertible in today’s marketplace. Fishbox big enough to serve as European crew’s quarters. Interior woodwork is at the top of the class.
The Lows: Sound levels of 92 dB-A at 2100 rpm makes for a loud cruise (Cavileer says the mufflers will be changed on future boats). Attic stowage area hatch is chintzy. No fiddle rails on the galley countertops.
Toughest Competitor: Cabo’s 43 Convertible costs about $100,000 more with 800-bhp diesels but runs about 4.5 mph faster at cruise and wide open throttle. Both boats have excellent fit and finish, but the Cavileer’s interior joiner work outshines the competition.
|rpm||knots||mph||gph||naut. mpg.||stat mpg.||n. mi. range||s. mi. range||run angle||sound level|
Displacement (lbs., approx.): 44,000
Transom deadrise: 12°
Bridge clearance: 14’11”
Max. cabin headroom: 6’5″
Fuel capacity (gal.): 750
Water capacity (gal.): 120
Price (w/standard power): $859,300
Price (w/test power): $859,300
Standard power: Twin 700-bhp Caterpillar C-12 in-line-6 diesel inboards.
Optional power: Twin diesel inboards to 2,000 bhp total. ****
Test boat power: Twin 700-bhp Caterpillar C-12 in-line-6 diesel inboards with 732 cid, swinging 24″ x 31″ five-bladed Nibral props through 2.0:1 reductions. ****
Standard Equipment (major items****): Compass; a/c w/reverse-cycle heat; auto. fire extinguish system; 10kW genset; oil exchange system; recessed trim tabs; battery charger; Cablemaster w/50′ cord; central vacuum; bridgedeck refrigerator; integrated fishbox w/macerator pump; fresh/raw-water washdowns; transom livewell; rigging station w/tackle stowage, sink, cutting board, bait refrigerator/freezer; Bose entertainment system w/AM/FM/CD stereo, speakers, DVD player; 3-burner electric stovetop; microwave/convection oven; Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer; 2 flat-screen TVs; washer/dryer; anchor w/chain and 300′ rode.